Monday, May 10, 2010

Yoga Pose May

Happy Camel Day,
I'm participating in "Yoga Post May"
It's sponsored by Tina and given to me by Fay...

Ok, enough with the rhymes, I just couldn't resist.

As you may know, I've been doing Bikram yoga twice a week since January. It's interesting how some poses come more easily than others. When I started, I could do supta varjasana (fixed firm pose) no problemo, but ardha chandrasana with pada hastasana (half-moon pose, hands to feet pose)? 
The half-moon part is a-ok, but the hands to feet part (when the teacher is instructing Lock your knees, lock your knees, lock your knees! in varying degrees of annoyingness)? I'm still not sure if it's even anatomically possible!

Ustrasana (camel pose) falls somewhere between wow-this-is-so-easy-I'm-a-yoga-master, and ha-don't-make-me-laugh-not-even-possible.

 I like it because it's hard, and when done properly, it really does give you that stars behind your eyes, mind-exploding feeling (which is a good thing in the realm of yoga). 

You probably don't want to jump straight into doing camel (sidenote: camels are potentially the most awesomely weird bad-ass animals ever.) It's the 22nd pose in the Bikram series (out of 26), so it's a good idea to warm up a bit beforehand. 

So here's what you do:
  • Kneel with your knees about 6 inches apart. 
  • Put your hands on your lower back, like they're in the back-pockets of your jeans.
  • Slowly bend your head back.
  • Bend your back to go with your head. 
  • Reach your right hand down to grab your right foot.
  • Then your left hand down to grab your left foot.
  • Your fingers should be on the outside, thumbs on the inside. (Check out my grip...and dirty feet...welcome to summertime!)
  • Once you have a tight grip, push your hips forward, lift your chest up, and reach your head back.
  • Hold it for as long as you can.
  • When you come out of the pose, lift both your shoulders up at the same time (unlike how you went into it one arm at a time).
  • Bring your hands back to your low back, and straighten up.
  • Lay down in savasana (dead-body pose).
  • Repeat.

And yes, I did do yoga in the street with PhotoMan taking pictures. Totally acceptable in Dupont Circle...

(And I know it's Tuesday, I promise you a Cake of the Week tomorrow!)